June 17, 2004

Ask Dr. Michael - Vol. 6

More words to live your life by, straight from Dr. Michael.
(Originally seen in Stet).

Dear Dr. Michael,

I have four kids. A daughter who's in second grade, two daughters that are in 5th grade, and a son who's in 7th grade. I love them very much, but the problem I have is that they fight with each other all the time. My husband and I are going nuts! What should we do?

--From Worried in Connecticut

Dear Worried,

If you're pretty worried, I've seen kids fight a lot, and believe me -- it's nasty. It's really bad. I think that you should discipline if it's really bad. Not all the time. Yelling doesn't solve it, but if they're pulling each other's hair, you should yell at them.

There's probably only one thing that they all want and there's not enough to go around. Buy more.

A daughter who is in second grade should get sort of a soft punishment. "Go to your room and don't talk to me for like, two hours." The boy in 7th, if he's really bad, you should discipline him even worse. Don't let him watch TV for about a week.

Look out for violence and punching each other. Boys are always really violent.

It's not usually the kid's fault. The parents might not be doing their job. Usually when a kid fights with another kid it's because he wants attention or something big. Say you got two people and they rent two different video games for the same system. They want to play their video game first. They want people to go up and talk to them. The parents aren't paying enough attention.

If the kids are being nasty, yell at them, if they get really violent -- discipline, but don't hit unless they try to hit you.

--Dr. Michael

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